Hey Change Nation…
So I’ve been doing a great deal of pondering lately on a topic of superb importance for all of us - how we can light a fire under our asses to make a dollar AND a difference with our business.
Read on if you’d like to know how to do that…
Why does this matter? Because, frankly, I’ve been working with far too many wantrepreneurs lately who have bold dreams for sparking social change but aren’t setting the practical and tactical goals to make it happen.
I used to be in this boat… In fact, I nearly crashed my business because I lacked urgency. I managed to make it back from the precipice by creating a ‘have to’ mentality for myself, so I want to write you today and help you do the same…
What exactly am I talking about? I’m talking about not getting so comfortable with making a difference that you forget that you’ve gotta make the DOLLAR to be in business. I’m talking about remembering that there are people who are URGENTLY depending on you to help them. I’m talking about keeping your eye on the freaking ball and killing it every stinking day.
Here are 5 ways to start living this RIGHT NOW:
- Get desperate about bringing HOPE into desperate situations.
- As social entrepreneurs, we work with people who are truly desperate for hope. For example, LSTN Headphones sells its headphones SO THAT it can give hearing aids to children who would never hear otherwise. Mission Belt sells its belts SO THAT they can make microloans to people living in extreme poverty. And you need to be obscenely bold about growing your business SO THAT you can be the difference for people living in desperation.
- Set goals and consequences.
- All goals must be S.M.A.R.T: Specific. Measurable. Agreed upon. Realistic. Time bound. Beyond that, you need to have consequences for not achieving your goals. For example, if you set a revenue goal in your business for quarter 1 (Q1), a consequence of not hitting it could be that you get a part-time gig in Q2 to offset your losses. OR in extreme cases, if you’ve consistently failed to hit goals, your consequence may be that you need to pivot and pursue social entrepreneurship in a different way. Tough to hear, I know, but again, I’ve been there and I can tell you that sometimes you do have to shift gears to win.
- Getting discouraged by all the despair in your world? Build a healthy dose of reinspiration into your business. For example, Bridget Hilton runs LSTN Headphones, a massive headphone company that is growing SUPER fast. Despite this, Bridget makes it a priority to take time off to get into the countries where her company is helping provide hearing aids for kids. She actively goes out on the missions to help kids hear - thereby reinspiring herself and why she does what she does with her venture. What are ways you could keep yourself similarly inspired?
- ‘The Baby Effect’
- It’s a known fact that startup entrepreneurs who were once lackluster become rockstars when they have kids. It’s something about the fact that you have another mouth to feed that inspires creative action. So, I get that many of us probably won’t be having kids anytime soon… but what are some ways you can recreate the ‘baby effect’ in your own venture? What are some ways you can make yourself SO HUNGRY that failure is not an option?
- The ‘Close Shop’ Strategy
- This is the most extreme version of #2 (goals & consequences). In this case, the consequence of not hitting your goal is that you actually close up what you’re doing OR completely pivot into something new. This is NOT something to be handled lightly. But if you’ve been setting goals, pouring your heart out and just haven’t been getting traction, it may be time to force a decision.
Remember that we’re out here changing the way business is done FOR GOOD. This is no small or easy task. There will be resistance. You’ll get your nose bloodied. You WILL FAIL at some things along the way. Learn from them, build a sense of urgency in your biz, set goals w/consequences and you’ll be a long way in the right direction to a business that makes a dollar AND a difference.